FILM index

FILM INDEX continued

Mystery Men (PG) “no: (Kinka Usher, US, 1999) Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo. 122 mins. Although it’s a spoof, Mystery Men is more knowing about the conventions of American comic book superheroes than other comic adaptations that’s largely down to Mystery Men ’5 origins in Bob Burden’s Dark Horse Comic, Flaming Carrot. Caped crimefighter Captain Amazing has been kidnapped by super villain Casanova Frankenstein and it’s up to underachiever heroes: the Mystery Men to save the day. Irvine: Magnum Theatre.

0f Freaks And Men (18) **~k** (Alexei Balabanov, Russia, 1998) Sergei Makovetsky, Victor Sukhorukov, Dinara Drukarova. 93 mins. A homage to early cinema in its use of silent film plot aids and sepia-tinted monochrome cinematography, the story follows the predatory exploits of Johann, a fiendish purveyor of early pornography set in turn of the century St Petersburg. With the aid of his grinning idiot henchman, Victor, the porn ring widens to engulf the lives of two noble families, exposing the humorous and startling underbelly of depravity beneath the austere trappings of the Russian bourgeoisie. Part absurdist farce, part surreal fetishistic nightmare. See review. Glasgow: GFI‘. Onegin (12) *t** (Martha Fiennes, UK, 1999) Ralph Fiennes, Liv Tyler. 106 mins. Alexander Pushkin’s epic poem, E vgeny Onegin, is the source of Fiennes’s impressive debut film, which hurls its characters through an intensity of passion, betrayal and unbeatable loss within the thoroughly elegant and codified context of the Russian aristocracy of the 1820s. Ralph Fiennes’s Onegin is an initially arrogant, cynical man who learns his own heart when tragic circumstances force him to re- evaluate his feelings for a woman. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

Open Your Eyes (15) ** (Alejandro Amenabar, Spain, 2000) Eduardo Noriega, Penelope Cruz, Chete Leta. 117 mins. Smooth looking, three car owning, inheritance spending CEsar (Noriega) has the sort of Madrid life many would dream of. He even gets the best looking girl, the stunning Sofia (Cruz). However, schadenfreude demands a turn for the worst, and sure enough, there it is literally round the comer. Amen-bar’s second feature seems caught between the light comic touch of Almodovar and the pensive subtleties of Medem. Stirling: MacRobert.

0s Mutantes (The Mutants) (15) (Teresa Villaverde, Portugal, 1998) 113 mins. These mutants are the homeless children of Lisbon. As Villaverde says, ‘Perhaps the world would like for them not to exist, but they do. They are survivors. Throughout the film they dream, they cry, they laugh, they have children, they die, they flee.’ Part of Sea Changes: New Portuguese Cinema. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

Pippi longstocking (U) H: (Clive Smith/ Michael Schaack/Bill Giggie, Canada/ Sweden/Germany, 2000) 78 mins. There’s something vaguely disturbing about a nine- year-old girl who parades down the street singing ‘Oh what a fabulous day, I’m happy as can be’ havingjust watched her father being washed out to sea. But maybe that’s being churlish. After all, Pippi Longstocking's anarchic behaviour has won her a place in the hearts and on the bookshelves of many a child since Astrid Lindgren first unleashed the world’s first riot girl. But in an age of sophisticated children’s films, Pippi Longstocking with all her exuberance, fails to deliver. Glasgow: UCl. East Kilbride: UCl.

Point Blank (18) hurts: (John Boorrnan, US, 1967) Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn. 92 mins. Revenge-ridden Marvin is bent on justifying his dreamlike existence and turning the

FILM REVIEWS New releases are reviewed on pages 24-26.

Short reviews of all other films showing this fortnight are in the Film Index, pages 27-34.

32 THE LIST 27 Apr~~1i May 7000

Newcomer Eileen alsh and Patsy Kensit go head-to-head in the office in Janic

tables on the mysterious criminal Organisation which employed him in this tense, well crafted thriller that boasts an imaginative and influential treatment of time. Boorman’s impressive first American feature is made memorable by Marvin’s brilliant portrayal of an outmoded gunman confusedly taking on a world overrun by technology. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Pokemon (U) at (adults)/***** (kids) (Michael Haigney/Kunohiko Yuyama, Japan/US, 2000) 96 mins. Cloned Pokémon (pocket monster) Mewtwo embarks on world dominance and so hero kids, Ash, Brock and Misty, accompanied by their Pokemon, set out to make him see the error of his ways. Cue a great deal of gratuitous fighting and an interlude in which it’s explained that fighting is bad (?!). The stupor induced by viewing the film strand of the phenomenal Pokemon franchise (computer game, collecting cards, etc.) as an adult, convincingly confirms that it’s a kid thing, good or bad. General release.

Psycho (15) ***** (Alfred Hitchcock, US, 1960) Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire. 109 mins. Hitch’s misogynistic masterpiece has a young secretary take off to hicksville with a bagful of her boss’s money. Unfortunately for her she chooses to put up at the Bates’ Motel, run by that nice Norman boy. The ironic dialogue (‘Mother's not quite herself today’) make it a joy to catch anytime around. We liked it didn't we mother . . . mother? Edinburgh: Cameo.

Pusher (18) **** (Nicolas Winding Refn, Denmark, 1996) Kim Bodnia, Laura Drasbaek, Zlatko Buric. 105 mins. Watching this Danish thriller is rather like gazing into a basin full of piranhas in the midst of a feeding frenzy. Small-time dealer Frank (Bodnia) finds himself in hock to a Serbian gang boss after a drug transaction is ruined by a police bust, but attempts to free himself are balked at every turn as it becomes apparent that fate has it in for him. The film has a documentary sheen and direction is admirably controlled but, God, is it cold. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Ratcatcher (15) ***** (Lynne Ramsay, UK, 1999) William Eadie, Tommy Flanagan, Mandy Matthews. 93 mins. Seen through the eyes of twelve~year-old James Cilimp’v‘ ri 'I-nnitivc boy haunted by the



e Beard: 45 WPM, an entertaining modern-day

variation on Billy Liar with a wonderful lead performance

drowning of a neighbour’s son, Ratcatcher paints a bleakly realistic picture of Glasgow family life. Ramsay uses meticulous framing, unusual camera angles and atmospheric images to capture the subtle textures of everyday life, as well as complex inner feelings. Glasgow: Odeon.

Rob Roy (15) ***** (Michael Caton- Jones, US/UK, 1995) Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth. 130 mins. When he is betrayed by the Marquis of Montrose (John Hurt) and a maliciously psychopathic Englishman (Roth), Rob Roy MacGregor is determined to win back the honour of his name. Alan Sharp’s script is rich, witty and literate; Caton-Jones’s direction injects a little action, but doesn’t pander to Hollywood; and all the performances are wonderful. A stirring epic which refuses to compromise, making it one of the best films about Scotland and the Scottish psyche ever made. Kilmamock: Odeon.

Romance (18) * (Catherine Breillat, France, 1999) Caroline Ducey, Rocco Siffredi, Francois Berleand. 95 mins. Our female protagonist is very young and wears either nothing or a white frock throughout. She weeps constantly and nags her boyfriend for attention; denied this, she embarks upon a small-scale sexual odyssey. Long, static shots show a series of sterile, joyless physical encounters, while a morose and pretentious monologue describes her feelings. She concludes that the only true fulfilment comes from motherhood. The great Bill Hicks dismissed the controversy around Basic Instinct with the observation that said film merited no such kerfuffle, being a ‘piece of shit’. Indeed. This is worse. Edinburgh: Cameo.

A Room For Romeo Brass (15) “new: (Shane Meadows, UK, 2000) Paddy Considine, Andrew Shim, Ben Marshall. 90 mins. Meadows once more combines colourful regional characters with impish humour and kitchen sink drama to great effect, but adds to the mix a deeply personal autobiographical element. And he elicits impressively naturalistic performances from a cast of newcomers for the story of young Nottingham lads Romeo (Shim) and Gavin (Marshall) who are best mates until the arrival of oddball More]! (the astonishingly dynamic Considine). Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Stirling: Mucllolt-it.

Scottie Dogs And Shortbread Project Ability, the Glasgow-based organisation that creates opportunities for people with learning difficulties, returns to the GFI‘ with these short films which undertake a trip through Scotland’s history, from dinosaurs to the present day. Glasgow: GFT.

Scream 3 (18) *‘k‘k‘k (Wes Craven, US, 2000) Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette. 118 mins. The third instalment of the horror film parody expands the by now familiar jokey film references to satirise the industry that spawned the inspirational Halloween and Friday The 131}: series. The victims this time round are the cast of film- within-the-film, Stab 3, the final instalment of the exploitative dramatisation of the Woodsboro murders, which were the subject of the first film. An endless stream of amusing cameos and film references makes Scream 3 as entertaining as the first film. That said, it’s funnier than it is scary. See review. General release.

Second Skin (18) (Gerardo Vera, Spain, 1999) Javier Bardem, Celia Roth. 100 mins. Alberto and Elena are married with a child. When she discovers a hotel bill in his pocket she thinks the worst: he’s having an affair with another woman. But it may be worse: he’s having an affair with another man. Expect yet more twist and turns in the plot. Part of The Lesbian And Gay Film Festival On Tour. Glasgow: GFI‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (U) **** (Stanley Donen, US, 1954) Howard Keel, Jeff Richards, Russ 'l‘amblyn. 103 mins. Classic MGM all-singing all-dancing musical loosely based on the Rape of the Sabine Women. Despite its arch symmetry, it remains a colourful and vigorous affair with a cosin effective score by DePaul and Mercer (Spring, Spring, Spring as in rites of. . .). The dancing, choreographed by Michael Kidd, is its strongest point but be sure to wear your sunglasses as it’s presented in glorious technicolour. Glasgow: Grosvenor.

Sex: The Annabel Chong Story (18) the (Gough Lewis, US, 2000) Annabel Chong. 86 mins. Chong became an international sensation by orchestrating the inaugural ‘World’s Biggest Gang Bang’ in which she had sex with 251 men in ten hours to provide her with Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame. The sex feat also attracted